Echo Eternal: Children making a new response to Holocaust survivors’ stories

Echo Eternal: Children making a new response to Holocaust survivors’ stories

Echo Eternal is a wonderful project working with Holocaust survivors’ stories. Children and staff at Nansen Primary School came in every day in the first week of the summer holidays to make a creative resonse to one survivor’s story. Our focus was passing on memory ‘L’dor va dor’, from generation to generation. We worked in Nansen’s Forest School area, planting tree seeds to make a new generation of trees. These Muslim children explored links between Islam and Judaism, and thought about how we can all question intolerance and challenge hatred to prevent it happening again.

Writing on leaves to retell Marcel’s story of deportation from Poland to Siberia and then Bukhara

 

We wrote messages to the tree seeds and then turned our messages into paper pots to plant the seeds

 

Our beautiful blanket banner, with Hebrew lettering ‘L’dor va dor’ decorated by the children, and full of images from Marcel’s story of survival, made with artist Benny Semp.

Here is some of the collective writing by this group of 10-11 year olds, which they presented at the end of the week.

How many differences are there between us?

Different eyes, noses, mouths and hair,
Different ages, sizes, gender, religion,
Different taste in shoes and clothes and cars and food,
Different houses, bedrooms, different front door colours.

And yet we share the same roads, same shops,
We all blink, all talk, all learn, all breathe the same air,
All have accidents, all make mistakes,
We’re all human, all unique.

If we were all the same, we wouldn’t recognise each other,
And who would choose which way to be all the same?
If we were all Christians, there’d be too many to fit in a church!
Differences between friends, similarities between us all.

Our differences make us unique.

 

We’re all human, all unique

Faizan            We’re all human, all unique.
Anas               We share the same roads, same shops.
Fathima A      Why did they use their religion against them?
Alishba          Why did nobody stand up for them?
Amaya            Why did nobody speak out?
Imaan             Didn’t they want to get involved?
Zaynab          Did they agree with the soldiers?
Madiha           Did they secretly support it?

Fatima Z        What can we do to make sure it never happens again?

All
We should – we WILL! – speak out for equality and peace
We should – we WILL! – challenge bullying.
We should – we WILL! –question unfairness.
We should – we WILL! – stand up for people who are being hurt
because of their religion, ethnicity, gender, colour of hair, eyes,
who they love, anything.
We should – we WILL! – say, ‘How would YOU  like it if someone did
that to you?’

Faizan            ‘Never be racist, no matter what,’ says Imaan’s mum.

All
We should – we WILL! – stand up for each other,
As we stand here together.